SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • abuse;
  • autonomy;
  • conflict;
  • homeless;
  • intimacy;
  • reciprocity;
  • social support;
  • women

Abstract  The specific aims of the article were to: (i) compare childhood experiences of intimacy and autonomy as they occurred in the families of origin of women who have and women who have not experienced homelessness; (ii) compare social support, reciprocity, and conflict as they occurred in the childhood support networks and in the current support networks of women who have and women who have not experienced homelessness; (iii) examine the relationships between intimacy and autonomy in families of origin and the social support networks from childhood of women who have and women who have not experienced homelessness. Descriptive correlational design: 255 women were interviewed to determine levels of intimacy, autonomy, social support, reciprocity, and conflict in childhood relationships. The ANCOVA models for each of support, reciprocity, and conflict indicated a significant group effect. The post-hoc analysis for support indicated that the homeless group was significantly lower in support and reciprocity and significantly higher in conflict than the never-homeless groups. The never-homeless, never-abused group scored significantly higher on autonomy and intimacy than the homeless or the never-homeless, abused groups. This study demonstrates the significance of families of origin and learning how to develop and utilize support systems in preventing or reducing homelessness.